The Election ballots are in and we are delighted to announce that all individuals who were selected by the WDA-Americas membership to lead our organization into the future have accepted and are excited to continue the growth and development of current and future events and support mechanisms WDA-A provides to it's membership! The official beginning of these elected individuals' term, the passing of the torch, and their in person introduction to members will be celebrated during the 2013 WDA-Americas Conference & Festival in Vancouver, BC.
We would like to recognize all the nominated individuals who have shown amazing support and dedication through their their time and willingness to assist in WDA-A projects and leadership: Alina Abreu, Shihming Li Chang, Ali Duffy, Marcia De La Garza, Alejandra Gravito, Zihao Li, Scott Martin, Seonagh Odhiambo, Alba Pedreira Vieira, and Mary Jane Warner.
For information about the Recommended Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Officials, Click Here.
For information regarding the Election process, Click Here.
The results of the election can be viewed at: https://www.electionbuddy.com/elections/7453/results/xlvd5p5dt
Your new officials elect are:
Mary Jane Warner, currently Recording Secretary, has been a member of WDA since 2003. She organized the World Dance Alliance Global Assembly, in July 2006, at York University in Toronto, Canada, which encompassed a conference, performances, workshops and a youth program. She held many administrative positions in the Department of Dance at York University (Chair, Graduate Program Director, Associate Dean) before retiring in 2012. A specialist in Canadian dance, she has published Toronto Dance Teachers: 1825-1925 (1995) and with Selma Odom Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories (2004), and has written numerous articles on dance in Canada. In 2005 she received a major research grant from the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council to document the work of several Canadian choreographers. She then joined with Toronto Heritage Dance, as President and Co-Director of the company to present remounts of important Canadian dance works to ensure that the Canadian dance heritage is kept alive through both live performance and documentation. She developed the dance education courses for York’s Faculty of Education when dance became a teachable subject in 1992 and taught the courses for many years. Currently she is engaged in research projects funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health to deliver dance to older adults and special populations and is the Recipient of a Planning Grant from the CIHR (Canadian Institutes for Health Research) to develop programs related to Dance as a form of Health Promotion in Preventing Type 2 Diabetes.
World Dance Alliance has an important role to play in furthering the development of dance throughout the world. The Americas are a vital link in the organization. My main goals as President would be to strengthen communication within the Americas and with Asia Pacific, and to build membership, especially in Central and South America.
I would work with the Executive to develop a strategic plan that would define our goals for the next five years to further strengthen the organization and offer improved services to our members. I would also develop a timetable for future Assemblies and Board meetings.
WDA Americas has initiated several exciting projects and I would help build on them. Our new Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship, under the leadership of Linda Caldwell (Americas) and Urmimala Sarkar (Asia Pacific), is an innovative new publication that offers a special vehicle for graduate students and recent graduates to publish their work under a blind review process. I hope that we will gather enough people to assist with editing and peer review so that we might work towards two journals per year and possibly short summaries in one or two other languages over the next several years.
Our redesigned website offers improved opportunities for communication. The event listing needs to be updated on a regular basis, perhaps focusing on more large-scale activities, which members might consider attending such as conferences, festivals, major seasons of performances, and special workshops. Our performances, featuring both local artists and others from the Americas, are an exciting component of our assemblies but need to be put on a stronger financial footing. I would look into funding opportunities and develop an initiative to raise funds to support outstanding young artists and scholars wanting to attend our assemblies.
Our networks are an important aspect of WDA but still do not function as well as they should in the Americas. I would work with network chairs to initiate regular communication with members. Our Central and South American membership needs to be developed further. In collaboration with the Vice Presidents for South America and Central America I would develop strategies to increase membership and more active participation in these areas. This requires a better understanding of the needs of these two regions in order to attract members with a long-term involvement in WDA-A. I am also committed to working with both the Americas and Asia Pacific regions to try to revive the European Region and move towards including Africa in WDA.
Scott Martin is currently a co-chair of the new WDA-Americas' Support & Development Network. In this roleover the past year, he has redesigned the www.wda-americas.net website, acted as editor and expanded the WDA-Americas' Newsletter, streamlined and automated the membership process, expanded the membership base significantly though outreach, created internal support systems for other networks and WDA initiatives, and is currently coordinating the 2013 WDA-Americas Conference & Festival to be held in Vancouver, BC.
Mr. Martin is an inter-disciplinary artist, educator, and administrator whose research and creative practice explores how new potentials for movement, space, time, and relationships are experienced when engaged via technology by both expanding boundaries and providing alternate perspectives for how the ideas and meanings within works are inter-related. Scott has performed across the country for over 20 years as a dancer, singer, actor, and interdisciplinary artist with companies such as Anna Meyers & Dancers, Seattle Contemporary Ballet, Village Theater, Seattle Opera, and Satellite Dance. He received his MFA in Dance from Texas Woman's University and continues to work as an Independent Artist, Arts Consultant, and member of Satellite Dance based in Denton, TX. Mr Martin is currently a full time Academic Affairs Specialist at Texas Woman's University and is responsible for assisting in supporting the work of academic units, faculty, and campus-wide university initiatives.
The World Dance Alliance is a unique non-profit service based organization which I believe whole-heartedly in. Its mission to provide information, advocacy, and communication about and between cultures is what I believe draws people to our organization. North America is privileged in that dance as an art form is accessible and systems of support are readily available to its citizens, even if they have to work hard to receive them.
As a Vice-President of WDA-Americas representing North America, I will continue to strive and develop communication methods, tools, and support mechanisms which not only support our region, but create new networking opportunities with other global regions of dance artists, educators, and supporters. We are now living in a "global" community where new possibilities for communication and exchange are ever evolving. My experience with dance, technology, and administration are an excellent combination to further our organization's mission and future development.
I am honored to be nominated, and will continue to strive to assist our members in creating a community of supportive collaboration for dance participants regionally and world-wide.
Marcia De La Garza is a Mexican Arts Administrator based in New York City. Marcia came to the position of Executive Director of New York International Ballet Competition (NYIBC) after serving the organization in distinct positions for several years. Prior to that, she was Dance and Music Coordinator at Espacio Cultural Metropolitano (METRO) in her hometown of Tampico, Mexico, where she was responsible for international programming, special projects, concerts, workshops, residencies, conferences, ballet galas and tours. In the inaugural year of METRO, Marcia served as Executive Producer of The Nutcracker, the first ballet production of its kind for the city of Tampico. She received ballet, musical theater, jazz and modern dance training in Mexico and the United States. During college, she did musical theater with the prestigious Theater Group of the ITESM System from which many of Mexico's most beloved musical theatre artists have begun their formation and careers. Marcia is a Board Member of the International Dance Committee of the International Theater Institute (ITI), the World Organization for the Performing Arts founded by UNESCO and international theatre experts in 1948. She is also Vice-President for the North America region of World Dance Alliance-Americas. Marcia holds a B.A. in business administration from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and an M.A. in arts administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
As a North America - Board Member I would provide leadership to further the mission of World Dance Alliance-Americas (WDA-A) in our region by:
- being a voice for our membership in Mexico, the United States and Canada with the rest of the WDA-A leadership;
- being an advocate of dance to raise the profile of our art form in all its genres, while using traditional and new technologies/resources;
- providing advisement on best and innovative policies and practices in diverse areas of arts administration such as marketing, PR, and fundraising, among others;
- fostering an inter-cultural environment of exchange and collaboration in dance and multi-disciplinary projects;
- helping to grow and strengthen the WDA-A Board, country representation and membership;
- working with the Network Chairs on key projects;
- providing ideas for events, programs, projects, services and advocacy (helping to plan, organize and produce them);
- overseeing that WDA-A programs, services, events, etc., are done with quality;
- helping to develop and execute strategic plans to ensure a vibrant future for WDA-- a vital player in the health of the global dance ecosystem.
Dr. Li is a dancer, an educator, and a researcher. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors) from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, a Bachelor of Education, and a Masters of Arts from York University. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He has performed with numerous dance companies including the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Hong Kong Dance Company, City Contemporary Dance Company, and German Hamburg Ballet. He has taught at different institutions and professional dance companies including Beijing Dance Academy, Liaoning Ballet, Tokyo Arts Center, York University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He frequently leads workshops and master classes at schools, teacher training venues, as well as at local, national, and international conferences. As a researcher, he contributes to an array of conferences/publications and belongs to interdisciplinary research groups at the University of Toronto and Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators. His book, Endangered Spices: Young Males in Dance is currently under review by the University of Toronto Press. He also serves as a curriculum consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Education. He edits conference proceedings/peer-review journals and has served as a grant judicator for Canada Council for the Arts. His research includes topics in dance pedagogy; teacher/curriculum development; cross-cultural studies; gender and masculinity; and technology in dance education.
As a board member, I will foster the building of dance networks in all regions of North America by encouraging the exchange of ideas and innovations among dance educators, choreographers, and researchers, and finding ways to cultivate and support thriving communities of dance artists and others who devote their lifetime in making and promoting dance.
From working and studying in Asia and North America, I have developed a deep understanding of the importance of dance and the role it plays in society. As a dance educator, I have taught dance to all age levels and various cultural backgrounds. I have maintained strong connections with many dance companies, organizations, and institutions. I believe that my knowledge and experiences in dance align with the mission of the organization and will benefit the development of the World Dance Alliance - Americas.
Board Member: Alejandra Garavito Aguilar (Central America)
Alejandra Garavito is a dancer and emerging choreographer from Guatemala City. She has a Baccalaureate in Arts with a specialization in Contemporary Dance from the National Dance School “Marcelle Bonge de Devaux” in Guatemala City. She also has a Diploma in Performing Arts from the University San Carlos of Guatemala. Alejandra has studied different dance techniques in Guatemala, England, and Argentina, and her work has being presented in several festivals in Guatemala. Currently she is getting her BA in Clinical Psychology and works at the Center for Dance and Movement Research as the assistant director and coordinator/researcher for the Community Dance Project. She has organized Festival Rondo 2011 and 2012 and was part of the organizing committee for the WDA-A 2011 Assembly.
Central America is a place filled with cultural richness. Although many citizens take refuge in orthodox traditions there are some people who take this ways of lifestyle and transform them into a lifestyle within a larger, international and inclusive world. These hybrid beings are trying to come to light and it is my desire to support them. My goal is that among Latin American nations is known that our artistic work is not based on competition but on belonging. We do what we do against the social systems, against what is "right", and it is an obligation (and a gift) as artists to unite ourselves in a community that is cohesive and productive.
As part of the Board of Directors, I will support all Networks through making connection with people from Central America that wish to show themselves and their art to the world. My ability to make contacts outside my geographic limitations and associate with individuals that are interest to enhance what we love will be my strength. Since I was part of the committee that organized the World Dance Alliance- America 2011 Assembly, in Guatemala City, I am aware of the hard work that must be made and it truly excites me to do it again. To be able to be part of a crew of people that gives their time and knowledge to allowed transcultural exchange is bliss.
Board Member: Alba Viera (South America)
Alba Vieira received her Ph.D. in Dance degree from Temple University (US, 2007), and has been since 1997 an Associate Dance Professor at Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil. At this university, she formerly coordinated the Graduate (2002-2003) and Undergraduate Dance Program (2000-2002), and she also was the Department Head. She taught dance in Brazilian Schools (grades k-12) and private studios (1985-1993). She is the leader of the Group of Transdisciplinary Research in Dance, and the author of book chapters and papers in Brazil and abroad, the organizer of the digital book “Education for the Arts” (2010), and the co-writer of the Dance Report and Recommendations by the “Experts on Art Education in Latin America and the Caribbean – Unesco”. Her work has been presented in several venues including NDEO, WDA/DaCi and CORD conferences, and published in several journals including Dance Therapy, Dance Current Selected Research, Possible Dialogues and Scene. She teaches undergraduate courses on dance composition, dance history and somatics, and a graduate course on dance and education. Since 2012, she has served as a National Representative for DaCi, and a member elected of the Director Board of the National Associations of Dance Researchers (ANDA). She has been coordinating several community and research projects looking at embodied dance education, and dance composition.
I am happy for being nominated to be a part of the WDA South America Board as a member.
My approach as a South America Board member includes a consistent commitment in doing all the best efforts for the success of the WDA by stimulating creative paths among the members. My intention is to share diverse dance projects whose aims embraces cooperation between and among professionals who demonstrate perpetual motivation to solve the complexities of our everyday lives with Dance. Furthermore, I believe there is a need to broad connections with people from other fields too so that more trans and interdisciplinary actions, proposals and events will come to life.
As a WDA Board member candidate, I am highly aware our globalized world calls us to think of strategies to effectively reach and work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. This means putting exceptional energy to find harmony in our differences, and to treat all human beings with respect, justice and dignity.
A great challenge WDA faces in South America is to increase the numbers of members from here. This requires a continuous effort on spreading the word, and I look forward to working very hard in order to have a larger South America participation in WDA by expanding our dance networks and WDA’s influence in dance at our region.
I ensure my commitment to make as many contributions as possible during my term, and to carefully consider any suggestions from other members so that democracy orients our world of dance. Hopefully my passion for the Dance cause will shine through the possible difficulties we might face, and they will become learning experiences to make us continue efficiently our journey on behalf of WDA.